The county will pay its salaries and bills through early next year with a $40 million revenue anticipation note that the County Legislature authorized Thursday in a unanimous vote.
In past years, the county borrowed all of its tide-over money, about $80 million, in one lump sum in the fall. But this year the county comptroller's office split the issuance of the notes -- half in April and half now.
As a result, the county was able to postpone tapping into the annual tax collection for a longer time and earned an extra $1.7 million in interest on its tax revenues.
Legislators authorized the new revenue anticipation note without discussion after hearing about the interest from Joseph Passafume, director of investments and cash management.
"That was the easiest $40 million you will ever get," said Legislature Chairman Charles M. Swanick, D-Kenmore, as he lined up Democratic votes before the session.
All 16 lawmakers at the meeting joined in calling for the passage of state laws to protect local governments from having to pay for pollution cleanup if they seize contaminated land.
Legislator John Greenan, R-West Seneca, said West Seneca is interested in taking possession of the Madison Wire site on Indian Church Road if the county will foreclose on the property. He said the property has $5 million in liens on it as a result of state cleanup costs and $1 million in back taxes. "The town would turn it into a park," he said.
Both parties urged support of the $1.75 billion environmental bond act proposed by Gov. Pataki that will appear on the Nov. 5 ballot.
Legislators asked the county health commissioner to close the Bakery Salvage plant on Chandler Street in Buffalo, which was ordered to cease operation earlier this month by the state Department of Environmental Conservation while it works on equipment that was supposed to reduce or eliminate odors from plant operations.